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Sep 22 2014
Hold Me Closer, Tony Danza: A Trip To The Broadway Flea Market Comments (0)

PackageJudging from the front view, I'd say there was some truth in advertising.

I had fun at today's Broadway Flea Market, where hundreds of thousands of dollars are raised in a single day for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, but I did have a particularly nerdy problem that sort of blew me away momentarily.

Splash-Paul-NolanPaul Nolan, of Jesus Christ Superstar and Once fame

I went because (1) You can always find fun stuff to buy, cheap and (2) They always have stars selling autographs and photo ops. This year, the only two stars I wanted were Patrick Wilson and David Hyde Pierce, and both were in the first block, meaning they were signing autographs from 11AM to 11:50AM, then would be posing for photos (you're supposed to pick one or the other...never been a fan of how this is organized).


Got there early, stood in line, then was told—SURPRISE!—Tony Danza had shown up and would do photos for 50 bucks! So worth it. Never met him, often...thought of...him growing up. Who's the boss? Tony Danza was, more than once, in my gaydreams. So I signed up for all three and they pulled me to get David (at first they said he would only pose with Bebe Neuwirth, whom I've already met, and then when they saw my money slipping away, they locked him in for a single). Took forever because for some reason, they were escorting people up to get their autographs done during the photo period. I kept looking around and saw Andy Mientus and others doing their photo ops, but was resolute I would not miss Patrick or Tony.

Matthew Rettenmund David Hyde Pierce Bebe NeuwirthThe found language of the “Niles Cranes”

When it came time, no one wanted to say, “Miss Neuwirth, please step out of the picture,” least of all I (has anyone ever said that???), so I got her free.

Splash-Corey-CottGrabbed a pic of Corey Cott and a fellow former Newsies cutie Adam Kaplan

Splash-Neil-StarkenbergMamma Mia! looker Neil Starkenberg

I went back into the line, only to be told Tony had done his very few photos and was done. I freaked out, offering to pay extra, and they confirmed he'd left. I was so mad. I know, I know—focus on getting a job and paying for food, Matt...Tony is around often, Matt—but it was disheartening. I felt like “Angela” almost getting a kiss from “Tony” in an early episode, unaware it wouldn't be consummated for many seasons. So then I said, “Well, when is Patrick doing his?” “Oh, he's done, too.”

I lost it.

DragI was wigging out when told Tony Danza had exited the area.

Losing it inspired the harried volunteers to find it—they charged me double (so much for the free Bebe!), but they got me a dedicated pic with Patrick.

Patrick Wilson is just a handsome creature and a strapping guy. We did our shot and I cooed about Little Children, a stunning film, and then I had to tell him the one Patrick Wilson story I have:

Patrick-Wilson-Matthew-RettenmundA little Hard Candy

I was walking in the Broadway area maybe six years ago, and out of nowhere, Patrick came running up from behind me, sprinting past me and up 44th-or-so Street. My impression then was he was in a show and was late. I told Patrick today, “As you ran past, my immediate instinct was to give chase—but then I thought, 'What do I do if I catch him?' I'm proud I resisted.” He found this hilarious, asked my name again and praised me for my decision-making skills. Nice guy.

Splash-Patrick-WilsonStealing a freebie autograph from Patrick

Then, I ran into cute couple Christopher Sieber and Kevin Burrows, who happily posed for a photo, and my old Game Night buddy (she slays at Celebrity) Lauren “Coco” Cohn, who's been slaying in Mamma Mia! for three years. She's a delight. Even if you hate musicals, ABBA and/or disco, it's probably worth seeing the show just for her. “Effervescent” doesn't begin to describe her.

Splash-SieberLooks like Sieber's body-makeover workout took!

Splash Lauren Coco Cohen 2

Splash Lauren Coco CohenEverything's on the table with Coco!

Snapped a few other things, then found a table that will feature prominently in a separate post—you won't believe the Playbills I discovered. Priceless.

All in all, even with my completely overstated coniption over losing out on finally meeting Tony Danza, a fun day, and always for a good cause.

Check out my trip to the same event in 2011 (including Guydar) and 2012...when photo ops were $10!